The most exciting time of the NHL season is just around the corner, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Every year in the playoffs there have been huge upsets, underdogs who make a run, or even total dominance from the top seeds. I believe the playoffs are going to be very exciting this year and a team I believe that is slept on is the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers who were a two seed last year got upsetted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round. The Oilers last three seasons have been extremely disappointing as they have failed to get past round one. But, I think this season the Oilers are a much different team.
The Oilers have had their fair share of struggles this season and they even fired their head coach, but recently, the team has been playing fantastic hockey. The Oilers have put on a very impressive campaign to end the season as they are (14-4-2) in their last twenty games. The Oilers have the offense, the defense, and most importantly the goaltending.
The Oilers currently sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 102 points and a (48-27-6) record this season. The Oilers faced several problems in the early season, but the team is now firing on all four cylinders into playoffs. The team’s biggest strength this season has been their offense.
The Oilers have an extremely explosive offensive as they currently rank seventh in the NHL for goals per game average with 3.5. The team has scored a very high 283 goals this season. The team’s powerplay has also been solid this season and is currently at 26.1% success rate.
The Oilers offense has been led by forwards Connor Mcdavid and Leon Draisaitl. Mdavid has recorded an absurd 123 points in 80 games played this season and Draisaitl has put up 110 in also 80 games played. If Mcdavid and Draisaitl can bring this offense into the playoffs, the Oilers will be a team to look out for.
The Oilers in the beginning of the season had some serious goaltending issues and the team was struggling to get a save. I think the Oilers have sorted these issues out and it looks like veteran goaltender Mike Smith will be taking the net in round one.
Smith this season has obtained a solid .915 save percentage and a 2.81 GAA. Smith who has faced injury problems all season long has looked to have finally found his game in the month of April. Smith has been a brick wall in the net in their last 10 games as he has recorded a 9-1 record, a .943 save percentage, and a 1.98 GAA.
Why The Oilers Will Go Deep
The Oilers have peaked at the right time of the season and if they can continue putting the puck in the net and getting saves from Mike Smith, I believe they can make a deep playoff run. A huge key to the Oilers is going to be if their power play success can carry into the playoffs. Special teams are huge in the postseason and the Oilers are going to need success on the powerplay if they want to win games.
I have no worries about the offense contributing and their defense has been solid, but Mike Smith is going to need to bring his recent success into the playoffs if the Oilers want to make a run.